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Seventh-ranked Georgia welcomed conference foe Mississippi State to Athens for a three-game softball set this weekend. The Red and Black fell 8-6 in an error-riddled outing on Friday, evened the series with a 4-3 Senior Day victory on Saturday, and claimed a 10-2 run-rule triumph on Sunday.
Following a scoreless first frame on Friday night, the visiting Bulldogs used four singles, a home run, and a fielding error by shortstop Laura Trout to tally four runs in the top of the second stanza. The hometown Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the canto with a pair of unearned runs after a two-out error enabled right fielder Brittney Hubbard to plate one with a double and Trout to bring home another with a base hit.
Mississippi State added another run in the fourth inning, then one more in the fifth, before Georgia responded in the home half of the latter frame. Second baseman Ashley Pauly sent a first-pitch single up the middle to lead off the Red and Black’s turn at the plate, then center fielder Taylor Schlopy fouled off five pitches before drawing a walk on a payoff pitch, setting the stage for third baseman Alisa Goler to plate three with a home run.
Two more Trout errors led to two more unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning, but the Athenians were not finished. In the host squad’s final turn at the plate, Schlopy was hit by a pitch and left fielder Megan Wiggins brought her home with a double, but the next batter sent a double-play ball to left field, hastening the end of the contest.
Georgia took a 2-0 lead on Saturday with a one-out single by first baseman Brianna Hesson and a two-out home run by Hubbard in the bottom of the second stanza. The Red and Black extended their advantage to 4-1 in the fourth frame, when a walk, a base hit, an error, and a triple tacked two more runs onto the tally. Mississippi State clawed back with a leadoff home run in the fifth inning and a two-out solo shot in the sixth canto, but the hometown Bulldogs held on for the one-run win to even the series.
Sunday’s rubber match wasn’t close. Hubbard gave the Athenians a 1-0 lead with a two-out solo homer in the second stanza, and, although the visiting Mississippians tied it up in their next turn at the plate, the Bulldogs broke the game open in the bottom of the third frame. Georgia scored five runs on a leadoff walk, a first-pitch single, a two-out home run, a hit batsman, and another two-out home run.
A one-out single, a run-scoring double, and a two-run shot to left field in the home half of the fourth inning made it 9-2, then a trio of one-out singles in the fifth canto brought home the score that gave Georgia the eight-run lead that ended the game and gave the hometown Bulldogs the much-needed series win.